Famous Amos, in partnership with the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), has revealed the recipients of its second Ingredients for Success Entrepreneurs Initiative, a program that helps Black business owners thrive with capital and coaching resources.

More than 3,200 business owners participated in a pitch contest to receive $50,000 in unrestricted capital from the Ingredients for Success initiative, as well as comprehensive mentoring, coaching, resources and tools from the NBCC. Of the thousands of applications, three recipients were chosen:

  • Liz Abunaw, owner and operator of Forty Acres Fresh Market, a startup grocery store in Chicago that specializes in selling high-quality fresh produce at affordable prices in primarily underserved, food desert regions of the city.
  • Aaron Woods, CEO of Podpal, a tech company based out of Alpharetta, Georgia that has simplified the podcast production process into an innovative all-in-one platform to help storytellers drive the future of the podcast industry.
  • Staci Childs, CEO of Sunnyside Legal Clinic, a legal services business in Houston, Texas that offers creative litigation approaches and exceptional comprehensive results in the Houston area.

“This is the second year of the Ingredients for Success initiative and I’m thrilled to be able to leverage our platform to shine a light on these three companies and their amazing owners, as well as give back to their respective communities,” said Rachna Patel, senior director of distinctive brands at Ferrero. “Famous Amos has now been able to invest $150,000 annually since 2021 directly to Black business owners who make a difference daily to the people they serve.”

Famous Amos believes that by pairing dynamic, driven entrepreneurs with resources and mentorship from NBCC early on will help steer their business acumen in a positive direction for years to come. Lack of resources or access to them has historically plagued Black communities in their quests for economic and social mobility, underscoring even more the importance of Famous Amos’ partnership with the nonprofit.

“The National Black Chamber of Commerce is proud to be working with Famous Amos again to support the selected grant recipients and to help usher funds and mentorship to business owners who really need it,” said Charles H. DeBow, III, executive director, NBCC. “Our mission is to economically empower and sustain African American communities through entrepreneurship, and one of the keyways of enacting our ongoing vision of Black business growth and development is achieved through programs like the Ingredients for Success initiative. This program removes challenging barriers, and its timing couldn’t have been better since the economy of our country is still stabilizing after an unprecedented past few years.”

The grant applications were judged by some of the nation’s foremost Black business leaders including Roby Mercharles, vice president of partnerships at The American Dream Fund & Marketplace; Mandy Bowman, CEO of Black Wall Street; Nancey Harris & Tracy Green, CEOs of Vontelle, LLC; and Steve Canal, CEO of Flourish.

Eligible businesses had to be at a minimum 90% Black-owned and in operation for five years or less at the time of application. For more information on the program, visit FamousAmosIngredientsForSuccess.info.